Northern Ireland

Darren Fagan jailed for attack on Bessbrook toddler

Darren Fagan Image copyright Pacemaker
Image caption Darren Fagan told probation officers he punched the child because he wanted peace to watch X-Factor

A man who fractured a toddler's skull because she was crying while he was watching X-Factor on television has been jailed for 13 and a half years.

Darren Fagan attacked the two-year-old girl in her cot while he was visiting her mother at her home in Bessbrook, County Armagh, in October 2014.

The child sustained horrific injuries, including a brain haemorrhage.

Fagan, formerly of Clonavon Avenue in Portadown, had admitted causing her grievous bodily harm with intent.

He had originally been charged with attempted murder but this was "left on the books" after he admitted the lesser charge.

'Protection of the public'

Fagan had previously tried to blame the child's mother for the injuries, and on Friday, the judge at Belfast Crown Court branded those claims as "cowardly, vindictive and shameful''.

He imposed an extended custodial sentence of three years "for the protection of the public'' after assessing that Fagan posed a danger to society.

The judge told Fagan that he would have to serve half his sentence before the Parole Commissioners would decide whether it was safe to release him back into the community.

If Fagan is released at that point, he will spend a further nine years and three months on supervised licence by the Probation Service.

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